It can be quite easy for someone that hasn't walked in your shoes to tell you how you should feel. Whether it is a few weeks or months or maybe years since you have been through your abuse.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on when you should been done healing or they may ask you why you feel compelled to keep bringing up the subject of your past.
"Why can't you just drop it?"
"Why don't you just move on already?"
You may get some eye rolling or deep sighs from the person you are sharing your feelings with. Soon, you just clam up holding so many of the hurts inside.
It can be very hard for somebody else to understand the in's, out's up's and down's of being a victim or a survivor of abuse of any sort. I've gotten... "I understand" when I know the person had never been effected directly or indirectly by abuse. There has been times I wanted to shout, "How could you?!" or "Seriously?!", I do tuck those aside as most people do not really know how to answer or help when there is a situation that is out of the norm.
People love to give advice or hear gossip, but when it is something that is outside the normal comfort zone you can have problems.You finally open up to someone that may have pestered you for what is going on in your life and you may leave them dumbfounded, amazed or speechless.
I can't prepare you for what is going to happen during your journey (Hopefully you are on the path of healing and safety). I can share my own opinions and they seem to have really evolved since I began this incredible path that has been filled stumbling blocks, set-backs, fear, discouragement, joy, happiness, hope and faith.
I've mentioned many times that it isn't easy to leave an abuser. There is no abuse worse then another. There is not right or wrong time to make the jump to leave or kick him/her out. You will know in your heart, things will fall into place that point to what the right decision for you is.
I have read many cases where the abuser is using drugs or alcohol and once they get off the habit the person changes into a great person with no other patterns of abuse. Now, these are very rare and slim chances. I do not want to give anyone a reason to stay with their abuser for hope of change. I do not want to say one way or another this will work for every substance abuse relationship. If it does or did that is terrific! Blessings to you and your partner!
I also do not want to say that something earth shattering may happen to your abuser and they will forever change their behavior for the better. Put that aside. Think about you. Your abuser no matter what the situation is responsible for his/her behavior. Take off your Mom/Dad cap and let this person know or let them go to make the decisions they need to make for the path they want to keep on.
You need to think about you.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Where do you see yourself in a year?
Alive? Dead from your abuser or suicide?
Will you still be in the same relationship? Maybe feeling stuck or scared or hopeless.
What do you want out of life?
Do you honestly want to live the rest of your life this way? (Scared or suffering?)
If you have children, please think of them. If you see that one of your children maybe seeing someone that is abusive or may themselves be an abuser what would you do? Our children do have a tendency to pick up the abusive patterns. The amazing transformation of a broken spirit can be awesome! It doesn't happen overnight, so please do not shake your head and think that I must be smoking funny cigarettes because it has been years since you may have left your abuser and your child maybe pretty rough around the edges.
It may take years of counseling or talking to caring friends or family to heal. Children seem to have a tougher time healing after an abusive relationship. They are too immature to explain or vent about how the abuse affected them. Don't be surprised to see aggression, confusion, head banging, running away, verbal abuse, cutting, crying, depression, anxieties, withdrawing from you and more.
Like yourself, they need time to heal. Healing is slow. It can be frustrating. And that is my professional opinion as a Jack of all trades. I am not a therapist or counselor. I have read much on the subject, spoke to various professionals (Legal and Medical) and of course my own first hand experience.
The raw emotions in the beginning after leaving the abusive relationship are very strong! They can be overwhelming! (I never did wear the Rudolph the booger nose reindeer look well) Believe or not they will pass as time goes by. And if you plan to live a charmed life soon after leaving your abuser, though that sounds lovely, in reality you may be dealing with someone that threatens your life or your children or is stalking you and the legal circus could have you in tears.
So my Dear Blog reader, I am not sharing any of this to intimidate you, or cause you to think, "Maybe I'll just stay with Joe/Jane Doe to save myself the trouble or problems."
The road to recovery and freedom from abuse by far outweighs where you are now. Knowing that you can survive from this and you will survive should inspire you to stay strong.
OK, enough of the pep talks! If you are in a super volatile situation, consider bringing in the police. Contact a shelter or check with your state or country about legal help in these matters, especially if you have children together! Safety is the primary concern!
Please check out previous posts about Safety or Leaving your abuser for suggestions or tips.
Stay safe and God bless!